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Vegas Hotel Union Says Boycott Trump; Baja Farmworkers Fight Back

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Vegas Hotel Union Says Boycott Trump; Baja Farmworkers Fight Back

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
National Edition
Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
Unions to Trump:
âPay your hotel workers fair wages and recognize our union!â
Bethany Khan, Director of Communications,
Culinary Workers Union Local 226

As far as Nevadaâs unions are concerned, hotel mogul-turned-Republican
president elect Donald Trump should put his money where his mouth is, and
pay his hotelâs workers in Las Vegas fair and living wages and recognize their
union too. The 500-plus workers, who seek to join Hotel Employees and
Restaurant Employees Local 226, are battling Trump management over union
recognition, wages and working conditions. They say that hotel management
is not only breaking labor law â including by verbal threats and physical
assaults, but that theyâre sure not following Trumpâs campaign slogan
âMake America Great Again!â So the hotel workersâ Geoconda Arguello-Kline,
secretary-treasurer for the 55,000 member union local, Nevadaâs largest, said
âTrump should start right here in Las Vegas with workers at his hotel. Many of
them are immigrants who work hard to provide for their families. They deserve
equal treatment and should be respected for their contributions to this city,â
she added, âI came from Mexico many years ago and became an American
citizen to have a better opportunity for me and my family.â Maria Jaramillo, a
housekeeper at the Trump Las Vegas, told the union âThis country is a nation
of immigrants, and we all work hard and deserve to be treated fairly.â
Driscollâs Harvest of Shame: the stories of the Farmworkers in San
Quintin (Mexico) and Skagit County (Washington State) and Why
They Say Boycott Driscoll Foods
. Al Rojas, a Founding Member of the United Farm Workers; current
Pres. , Sacramento Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
. Eduardo Rosario, President, NYC Chapter, Labor Council for Latin
American Advancement

70,000 farmworkers in the Valley of San Quintin, Baja California (Mexico)
have been waging intermittent strikes, organizing road blockades and mass
mobilizations since March 2015 to demand an increase in their daily wage
from $7.50 per day, an eight-hour workday, health care, overtime pay and
vacation days, an end to the widespread sexual abuse, and, the legal
recognition of their independent unionâ as the bargaining agent for these
70,000 workers. These farmworkers pick strawberries, tomatoes, and other
fruit primarily for export to the United States under the label of Driscollâs,
through its Mexican subsidiary, BerryMex.

The workers describe conditions in San Quintin as rat-infested camps,
some without functioning toilets, where they routinely having their wages
illegally withheld, and face debt after being gouged by the overpricing of
necessities sold at company stores, and with pay so low that it amounts to
less than one-tenth of what U.S. based farmworkers earn. And, how has
the Baja California government responded to the farmworkers, they sent
in police to quash the farmworkersâ protest, severely wounding 70 workers,
many with rubber bullets shot at close range, leaving some of the workers
in critical condition. Thereâs blood on Driscollâs fruit and vegetables and
the question is how we can support the farmworkers, who through their
blood, sweat and tears put food on our tables.
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